Mendham: Lawsuit Filed Against Golf Club After Hepatitis Outbreak

Source: NJ Patch

Two men who say they were sickened during the Hepatitis A outbreak at the Mendham Golf and Tennis Club are suing the club for a combined $9 million.

Michael Ryan of Mendham, and Edward Russo of Ledgewood, filed suit jointly in the Morris County Superior Court on Oct. 3. Both say they were hospitalized and severely sickened after eating food contaminated with Hepatitis A in June.

Filed together with their spouses, the lawsuit alleges that the golf club knew about the sickened worker and “failed to provide [members] with adequate warning of their exposure.”

The state Department of Health previously said the golf club food handler had been following all hand hygiene and glove use rules, but was unaware he was sick.

The general manager for the club, Joe Kelly, has previously said the club will not comment on any legal or potential legal matters.

Members of the Mendham Golf & Tennis Club were notified about the potential exposure around July 5, the state said, and all unvaccinated people who may have been exposed were told to get post-exposure prophylaxis by July 14.

Secondary cases could have developed until Aug. 19, which is 50 days from when the food handler was last infectious. State health officials conducted food safety training following the outbreak, including one that focused on hand-washing.

Twenty-six people were infected during the outbreak, and one died. Dorothy Del Guercio, 82, from Mendham, died in August after her family says she contracted Hepatitis A at the golf club. They filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Bergen County Superior Court late last month.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease which can cause fever, stomach pain, dark yellow urine, and jaundice. Most people recover within a few weeks, but it can be serious in some people.

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